It’s official: former Tod’s designer, Walter Chiapponi, will join Italian luxuriate Blumarine as creative director effective immediately. Rumours of movement between the two Italian powerhouses began circulating after the departure of Nicola Brognano after four years at the helm.
Chiapponi announced he was parting ways with Tod’s in July 2023, ahead of unveiling his last collection for the craft-focused brand during the Spring/Summer 2024 season of Milan Fashion Week.
Brognano announced the conclusion of his tenure in October 2023. At the time of Brognano’s departure, an immediate successor had not been named. However, it was suspected that Chiapponi would make the move from Tod’s headquarters in Marche up north to Blumarine’s in Carpi, Moderna.
For Milanese Chiapponi, he regards the appointment as a delightful opportunity. “I am delighted to have been appointed creative director of an iconic Italian brand that has outlined over time an idea of femininity that is defined by lightness and creativity,” Chiapponi noted in a statement. “The possibility of contributing to establishing a new phase for Blumarine is for me an opportunity to embrace new thrilling and important horizons, to expand my vision and to restore sense to artistic expression,” he explained.
Of course, the movement from the austerely elegant Tod’s to the chintzy Y2K-inspired aesthetic of Blumarine will test Chiapponi’s ability as a creative director. One that will challenge his ability to mould his artistry to a house with a distinct creative vision.
Chiapponi joined Tod’s in 2019 after cutting his teeth at Bottega Veneta under Tomas Maier and Daniel Lee. He previously worked with Frida Giannini at Gucci and Miuccia Prada and Miu Miu. But despite his demonstrating history of leading luxury brands to both commercial and market success, all eyes will be on his debut collection for the brand.
Brognano revived the once faltering Blumarine, bringing the brand into a new decade with a refreshed aesthetic and immediate ‘It’ pieces such as the chintzy butterfly halter neck tops and hip-grazing trousers. “Nicola has successfully interpreted Blumarine’s DNA, presenting it in an original and contemporary key and thus reviving sector and customer interest in the brand,” Blumarine’s owner, Marco Marchi, explained in a statement at the time of Brognano’s departure.
Will Chiapponi’s appointment reap the same results? We’ll find out in February.